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PCSO Granted Life-Saving Funding from Gila River
Posted: 6/10/2013 12:00 AM
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – Last September, two deputies responded to a report of an unresponsive homeowner in San Tan Valley. The deputies located the 63-year-old homeowner unconscious and not breathing. The deputies began life-saving measures and were equipped with an automated external defibrillator (AED) in their patrol vehicle which they used to save the man’s life.

The American Heart Association studied survivability rates of heart emergency patients and found the communities with comprehensive AED programs have achieved survival rates of 40 percent or higher than communities where police and fire personnel were not properly equipped. During medical emergencies every second counts, which is why the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office continues their quest to increase the AED units available to patrol deputies.

The Gila River Indian Community approved a Pinal County Sheriff’s Office grant-funding request to purchase 20 additional HeartStart FRX Automated Defibrillators for patrol deputies who are often the first on scene. The 20 additional AEDs awarded by the Gila River Indian Community grant will join the 24 AED units already used by Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Patrol deputies.

The American Heart Association states that every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, survival from the heart emergency decreases by 10 percent. Two previous grants from the National Rifle Association and the Joe Gibbs Foundation purchased the existing 24 AEDs already being used across Pinal County.

Patrol Captain Ruben Leos said, “The AED paired with the training each deputy receives in CPR is essential in our county where there are many remote locations. These tools can help bridge those crucial moments between our deputies’ arrival at a scene and the first emergency medical service unit.”

The size of a laptop, an AED analyzes heart rhythm to determine whether a shock is needed, according to the American Heart Association. The 44 AEDs are now in patrol units across the four regions patrolled by Pinal County deputies.

Sheriff Paul Babeu said, “Sudden cardiac arrest is the nation's leading cause of death claiming nearly 465,000 lives each year across the United States. The commitment from our partners at the Gila River Indian Community in purchasing this life-saving equipment is vital. It enhances the ability of deputies to be ready to render aid in any situation and will save lives.”

Public Information Officer

Tim Gaffney

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